Sunday, September 18, 2011


We are too busy.
It isn't activities or hobbies, neither of which we have anymore. Its my husband working an average of 75  hours a week. I seem to always get scheduled to work on his days off, so we never see each other.
We took the boat out four times last summer. We couldnt find the time for anything more. We never did take Josh to the zoo, or put up a swing in the backyard. More and more, my husband comes home sleep, and its time to go back to work when he wakes up.

It is mostly just the simple fact that this is what firefighters and paramedics do. Everyone I know who works these kind of jobs does what we do...working forty or fifty hours of overtime or two jobs or, like Rob, both.

In the middle of the craziness, its easy to imagine what-if.  What if we didn't have to do this?
In the field across from my parents, there is a camper. The people who live there keep to themselves. They have a garden and a clothesline. Sometimes we think-yeah! We should just sell everything and go live in a camper and raise our own food and be totally self sufficient and live off the land! Except the good folks at CPS would probably (rightly) assume that I was setting my children up for all kinds of security and food issues, and give my parents custody.

If there is a middle ground, I haven't found it. Are there mothers who don't come home exhausted, toss a frozen pizza in for dinner, and who occasionally see their husbands? Are there really fathers who have time to put a swing up for their kids, build the upstairs bathroom, and are willing to occasionally take a day off work to take the toddler to the zoo?

I assume there are families like this, but I suspect they have made intentional choices to create a simple and less stressful lifestyle.  Those are not our choices, valid though they may be. We have debt to pay down and jobs that demand time more than anything else.

But the truth is, my son is never going to wish that Daddy came home every night or that we spent a week a year camping, because that isn't going to be anything he ever knows. This is his status quo, even if it isn't for his parents.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Vaccinations part 1

Vaccines have recently hit the local news for two reasons: first, there has been a small outbreak of measles in an adjacent county. All the children affected were unvaccinated. Secondly, nationally there are some pediatricians who are refusing to see children whose parents are not vaccinating them. The theory is that they don't want the immunocompromised children and babies in their waiting room exposed to these illnesses. Personally? If there was a pediatrician locally that was doing this, I would immediately switch to their practice.
I understand that my choice to not only vaccinate but to keep my child away from unvaccinated children-I actually will not allow him to be in a day care or church nursery if an unvaccinated child was present until he is old enough to have all of his own vaccines-is not popular. And that is fine. I would rather be un popular than deal with encephalitis from measels, brain damage from pertussis, paralysis from polio, seizures and death from Hib. All of these diseases, even polio, are making a comeback, primarily because the vaccination rate in many places is too low to provide group immunity. Parents, misled or not understanding the studies, have chosen not to vaccinate.
Why is that? To understand, we need to look at the history of vaccines,  the studies and propaganda ,and one vaccination in particular-- pertussis.

This week I will be exploring the  history and controversy surrounding the pertussis vaccine and explaining how the accusations against it have since been discredited. Check out these sites if you want to do your own research

Whooping cough and Unrecognized postperinatal mortality , archives of disease in Childhood 63(1988):41-47

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I haven't seen my husband in days.  This week, I think, he is working 77 hours.  He comes home long enough to sleep and go back to work.  Partly, I was supposed to be gone to a class for three days(Advanced Medical Life Support, in case you are wondering) that got canceled because of the flooding.  Figuring I wasn't going to be home anyway, he picked up overnight shifts on the nights I was going to be gone.
That backfired.

But I can't complain.  I have a warm house, I have plenty of food, I have enough money to go buy my son the fall and winter wardrobe he needs, I have gas in my car, and we're able to pay cash for just about everything and have money left over to save.  Why? Because he's willing to work 80 hours a week and I'm willing to continue working part time(though anymore, I really just want to quit and find a different job).

But I do sometimes miss the family togetherness we had before he took this job.